I’ve always been drawn to people, especially children, down on their luck. For so many, the root cause of their current circumstance can be traced back to either abuse or untreated mental illness. Those two things often lead to desperate and poor decision-making and, frequently, addiction. It becomes a vicious cycle that’s hard to break without the intervention and services from places like Nashville Rescue Mission.
My work with the Mission started shortly after our family moved to Nashville in 2006. I was a new mom, working part-time as a national network news correspondent, and I had a little extra time to volunteer. I was eager to get plugged into my new city. I called the Mission and asked if I could teach a class to the women staying there.
Each week, I would teach different lessons. I will never forget looking into the eyes of a woman who had been abused so severely she would barely look up. She was at the Mission because she’d finally gotten the courage to leave an abusive relationship. After weeks together, she finally made eye contact, and I smiled. I saw a glimmer of hope in her eyes. She did not speak English, and I speak broken Spanish, but a translator helped us communicate.
Later that year, our family took her and her two boys to their very first Predators hockey game. We had such a great time. And I think it was good for them to see my husband model healthy behavior toward our children and me.
Our family has continued to volunteer at the Mission, helping with backpack drives and trunk-or-treat events. There is nothing better than seeing a smile on a child’s face when you give them a new backpack or a costume and some candy. Over the years, we’ve adopted different moms with kids each Christmas so they’ll be sure to have gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. We also enjoy serving meals throughout the year and during the holidays.
“I TRULY APPRECIATE THE COMPASSION MY CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED FROM THEIR MANY EXPERIENCES AT THE MISSION.”
I’m thankful for what these women and their children have taught me. They’ve made me a better person. I truly appreciate the compassion my children have learned from their many experiences at the Mission. There’s always a need, and I encourage anyone looking for a way to give back just to pick up the phone and call them. Your heart will be so blessed, too.
Stacy Case’s career as a journalist has taken her all over the world. She’s the main anchor at Fox 17 News in Nashville. Her 27 years as a journalist includes stops in New York; Cincinnati, OH; Champaign, IL; and Greenville, MS. Stacy and her husband have been married for 21 years and have two children who were 1 ½ and 6 months old when they moved here in 2006. After living all over the country, they handpicked Nashville to raise their family.